Dr. Chantal Daniel (Laboratoire de Chimie Quantique, UMR7177 CNRS – Université de Strasbourg)
Coordination compounds, characterized by fascinating and tunable electronic properties, easily bind proteins, polymers, wires or DNA. Upon irradiation these molecular systems develop functions finding applications in solar cells, photocatalysis, luminescent and conformational probes, electron transfer triggers and diagnostic or therapeutic tools. The control of these functions is activated by the light wavelength, the metal/ligands cooperation and the environment within the first picoseconds (ps). After a brief summary of the theoretical background, this contribution reviews case studies, from 1strow to 3rd row transition metal complexes, that illustrate how spin-orbit, vibronic couplings and quantum effects drive the photophysics of this class of molecules at the early stage of the photoinduced elementary processes within the fs-ps time scale range. Besides the “routine” modeling of spectra, computational chemistry may contribute at their interpretation providing valuable information about the various chemical and optical contributions to the (chiro-)optical properties and about their correlation, not only with nuclear arrangement, but also with spin-vibronic effects which are especially relevant in transition metal complexes.
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